Harris, Pelosi Make History Seated Behind Biden at Speech

Lula Sharp
April 29, 2021

President Joe Biden is putting the finishing touches on his first address to a joint session of Congress, a prime-time speech on Wednesday night on the eve of his 100th day in office.

At the same time, the speech highlighted Biden's fundamental belief in the power of government as a force for good, even at a time when it is so often the object of scorn.

"It's time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1% of Americans to pay their fair share - just pay their fair share", Biden said.

"Tonight, I come to talk about crisis - and opportunity", he said.

The sweeping proposal is meant as the second prong to push the country forward, alongside the American Jobs Plan, which focuses on boosting employment, transportation infrastructure and US innovation. Or Pelosi to tear up her copy of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech after he finished a year ago and she stood behind him on the rostrum?

She also noted a historic difference. And she was next to another woman, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In a statement, she said that "if the president is serious about earning bipartisan support, he will need to address the concerns of rural America first".

Yet Biden said, "I have never been more confident or more optimistic about America. But three months in, the actions of the President and his party are pulling us further and further apart".

The president said unfair trade practices undercut American workers and industries. How can we help you get back to work?

Other elements of the evening may only serve to emphasize how far the nation still has to go in battling the coronavirus pandemic.

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He added that now, even corporate sectors can participate in the vaccination drive by getting their employees vaccinated. Mann Ki Baat is a medium for the Prime Minister Modi's to connect with the people of the nation.

Ahead of the speech Senior Republican Senator Mitch McConnell urged the White House to "shake off its daydreams of a sweeping socialist legacy", accusing the Biden team of acting in synch with "the radical left".

Women's advocates said seeing Harris and Pelosi seated together behind Biden would be a "beautiful moment". The US recently surpassed 200 million Covid-19 shots administered since January 20, which was double the original goal Biden had outlined of achieving 100 million shots in arms in the first 100 days.

The following day, he'll visit Philadelphia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Amtrak - expected to receive a sizable funding increase under his infrastructure plan - at the city's 30th Street Station.

"Our nation is starving for more than empty platitudes", he said.

The Republican rebuttal comes as Scott has been seen as a key negotiator on Capitol Hill, known for working across the aisle and being praised by Democrats.

Scott has been charged with leading the GOP side of negotiations as the Senate takes on police reform after the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Hundreds of billions of dollars in aid will soon arrive for state and local governments, enough money that overall USA growth this year could eclipse 6% - a level not seen since 1984. There would be more than $400 billion for subsidized child care and free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds.

Biden's plan also includes $225 billion to help subsidize child care for families, would permanently increase child care tax credits and extend until 2025 an enhanced child tax credit that was included in the pandemic stimulus package earlier this year. It also includes a paid family and medical leave program.

The trillions of dollars in investment "advance a foreign policy that benefits the middle class" but all nations must abide "by the same rules", Biden told a subdued joint session amid Covid restrictions on attendance.

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